After last week’s pomp and speechifying, members of the Colorado legislature will finally start getting to work on tackling issues of vital importance to the citizens of our great state.
Over the weekend we were forwarded a constituent newsletter sent out by state Sen. Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs), in which the two-term Republican explains his legislative priorities for the 2017 session. “There are three bills I am working on right now with the help from our community,” writes Hill before launching into details about legislation surrounding school funding, legalizing self-driving cars, and his approach for dealing with the “construction defects reform” issue.
Curiously, Sen. Hill fails to make any mention of a fourth bill that he is sponsoring: SB17-008, which seeks to legalize switchblades and “gravity knives” in Colorado. Here’s the title of that legislation, which is co-sponsored by state Rep. Steve Lebsock (D-Northglenn):
The bill legalizes the possession of a gravity knife or switchblade knife by removing such knives from the definition of “illegal weapon”.
According to the draft legislation, the term “illegal weapon” refers to a “blackjack,” “gas gun,” OR “metallic knuckles.” Hill and Lebsock want to change state statute so that switchblades and “gravity knives” aren’t included in that same definition. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation last February to legalize switchblades in Cheeseland, following similar efforts in states such as Oklahoma and Nevada that aim to fight back against the perception of “the misunderstood switchblade.” No, seriously, this is an actual argument made by adults.
Last fall, Colorado Republicans spent millions of dollars holding onto their one-seat majority in the State Senate. Presumably, this effort was not undertaken so that people like Hill could engage in discussions about the usefulness of spring-powered knives; on the other hand, Senate Republicans are introducing this as one of their first 10 pieces of legislation of the 2017 session.
Did the GOP just run out of new ideas for a commemorative license plate?
Look, if you are too embarrassed to mention your “legalizing switchblades” bill in your constituent outreach materials, then you probably should be spending your time working on something else.